Unfortunately, many people throughout Florida sustain serious injuries as a result of falling in retail stores. Many times, the fall occurs because retail stores fail to adequately inspect and/or clean up spills on their floors. In the legal community, trip and fall cases which occur in stores are called premises liability cases. Many attorneys are reluctant to handle premises liability cases because it is often difficult to prove negligence on the part of the store. Unlike premises liability cases, in auto accident cases, generally, a police officer arrives at the scene and puts together a report that contains information necessary to move a case forward. However, when someone is injured in a store, many times no report is generated, and if any type of report is done, it is usually always done by store employees and many times the customer is not given a copy.
A recent case from Georgia illustrates why most people are not equipped to handle a claim against a retail establishment without attorney assistance. The August 2012 edition of Trial Magazine reported that an individual named Craig Walters slipped and fell on a piece of banana while shopping in a Kroger Supermarket. Apparently, the store had a video surveillance system, but the manager claimed the surveillance system did not record Mr. Walters’ fall. Later, an attorney found that there had been a camera in the store centered upon the exact spot where Mr. Walters fell. The judge in the case sanctioned the supermarket for destroying the video of the slip and fall sustained by Mr. Walters. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury awarded Mr. Walters a significant verdict.
Most stores today have some type of internal video or surveillance system. Stores will not usually keep video footage that is favorable to injured customers. Therefore, it is imperative that when someone is injured that the store is requested to preserve any and all video of surveillance footage of the incident. Many stores only keep surveillance footage for 30 days, so the request must be made quickly.
Most people who are injured in retail store falls want to wait to see what the store will do for them. Unfortunately, they find out too late that the store denies liability for the injury, and the proof needed to move the claim forward has disappeared. Therefore, if you or a loved one is injured in any type of retail store accident, you should immediately contact an attorney for assistance and advice.
At the Law Firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we have represented those injured in premises liability cases for years. It costs absolutely nothing to talk to us about your case. Please feel free to call us toll-free at 866-460-1990.